ост. 2, 2023
Finding common ground (1)
"I try to find common ground with everyone." 1C0 9:22 NLT
To influence someone, you must first connect with them. And to do that, you must look for common ground. Paul writes, "I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some."
In The Message, Eugene Peterson paraphrases Paul's words: "Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn't take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I've become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn't just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!" (vv. 19-23 MSG).
Note the words "I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view." When it came to preaching the truth, Paul wouldn't yield an inch. But when it came to reaching and influencing people for Christ, he tried to remove every roadblock between them and Christ. And you must be willing to do the same. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. That's why you must approach them heart-first, not headfirst. Before someone can receive the truth you have to share, they must be convinced that you love and care for them. And that means finding common ground.
Approach them heart-first, not headfirst.